Sunday, 27 May 2007

Brief introduction of Nepal

Nepal, (Nepali: नेपाल) is a landlocked Himalayan country in South Asia that overlaps with East Asia, bordered by Tibet of China to the north and by India to the south, east and west.

For a small territory, the Nepali landscape is uncommonly diverse, ranging from the humid Terai in the south to the lofty Himalayas in the north. Nepal boasts eight of the world's top ten highest mountains, including Mount Everest. The country has been famous for its tourism, trekking, hiking, camping, mountain biking, national wildlife parks, jungle safaris, river rafting, sport fishing, and its many beautiful temples and places of worship.

Kathmandu is the capital and largest city. Other main cities include Pokhara, Biratnagar, Lalitpur , Bhaktapur, Birganj , Butwal, and Janakpur. Pokhara is the rich in natural beauty. It is described as the one of the most beautiful city in the world.
  • Full name: Kingdom of Nepal
  • Population: 26.3 million (UN, 2005)
  • Capital: Kathmandu
  • Area: 147,181 sq km (56,827 sq miles)
  • Major language: Nepali
  • Major religions: Hinduism, Buddhism
  • Life expectancy: 61 years (men), 62 years (women) (UN)
  • Monetary unit: 1 Nepalese rupee = 100 paisa
  • Main exports: Carpets, clothing, leather goods, jute goods, grain
  • GNI per capita: US $270 (World Bank, 2006)
  • Internet domain: .np
  • International dialling code: +977
Geography :
Nepal is of roughly trapezoidal shape, 800 kilometres long and 200 kilometres wide, with an area of 147,181 square kilometres . Nepal is commonly divided into three physiographic areas: the Mountain, Hill, and Terai Regions. These ecological belts run east-west and are bisected by Nepal's major river systems. Nepal is roughly the same size as the US state of Arkansas.

Nepal has five climatic zones, broadly corresponding to altitude.

Economy of Nepal:
Agriculture sustains 76% of the population and accounts for about 39% of the GDP; services comprise 41%, and industry 22%. Hilly and mountainous terrain in the northern two-thirds of the country has made the building of roads and other infrastructure difficult and expensive.

There were around 175,000 Internet connections in 2005.

The government's budget is about US$1.153 billion, with expenditures of $1.789bn (FY05/06). The inflation rate has dropped to 2.9%.

The highest 10% of households control 39.1% of the national wealth and the lowest 10% control only 2.6%.

Nepal's GDP for the year 2005 is estimated at just over US$39 billion (adjusted to Purchasing Power Parity), making it the 83rd-largest economy in the world. Per-capita income is around US$1,402, ranked 163rd. Nepal's exports of mainly carpets, clothing, leather goods, jute goods and grain total $822 million.
Military of Nepal and Foreign relations of Nepal:

Nepal's military consists of the Nepalese Army which includes the Nepalese Army Air Service, (the air force unit under it), and the Nepalese Police Force. Service is voluntary and the minimum age for enlistment is 18 years. The Nepali Army has 90,000 soldiers.

Nepal has close ties with both of its neighbours, India and China.
China mainly seeks cooperation with Nepal on the issue of Tibetan independence, including the degree of freedom that Nepal gives the thousands of Tibetan refugees living in its territory and the approximately 2,000-3,000 Tibetans that seek to escape Tibet through Nepal each year.

Outside Asia, Nepal has especially friendly relations with Germany, and has historical military links with the United Kingdom through the Brigade of Gurkhas, an elite British Army unit composed exlusively of Nepalese soldiers.

Zones, districts, and regions:
Nepal is divided into 14 zones and 75 districts, grouped into 5 development regions. Each district is headed by a fixed chief district officer responsible for maintaining law and order and coordinating the work of field agencies of the various government ministries.
Demographics of Nepal
Nepal has a total population of 27 million as of July 2005, with a growth rate of 2.2%. The median age is 20.07 (19.91 for males and 20.24 for females).
Total literacy rate is 53.74% (68.51% for males and 42.49% for females).

According to the 2001 census, Hindus constitute 75.6% of the population. Buddhists make up 20%, Muslims 4.2%, rests are others.

A majority of the population live in the central highlands despite the migration of a significant section of the population to the fertile Terrai belt in recent years. Kathmandu, with a population of 2,000,000, is the largest city in the country.

Culture of Nepal:
Nepali culture is very similar to the cultures of neighbouring Tibet and India. There are similarities in clothing, language and food.

Football is the most popular sport, followed by cricket and kabaddi.

Television was only introduced to Nepal in the 1980s. Currently there are six television broadcasting channels: Nepal Television - the national television channel. Also many other networks, particularly those that originate in India, are available via satellite dishes.

Radio is listened to throughout the kingdom; as of 2007, there are more than 55. Among them most are local FM radio stations, heard in limited range of this hilly nation. However few FMs like Kantipur FM, Image FM are heard over wide range by the help of repeater stations.

Saturday is the official weekly day of rest.

Most marriages are arranged, and divorce is rare.

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